A remarkable Coleraine woman who was diagnosed with diabetes and latersuffered a stroke is now running her own reflexology business.
After being diagnosed diabetic when she was 11 Beverley Ward continually struggled with illness, but set up B’Serene Therapy after completing the Exploring Enterprise² Programme (EE²P) through Causeway Enterprise Agency.
Beverley said: “I have faced a fair bit of adversity in my life – my father left home when I was seven years old and then at 11, I was given a late diagnosis with diabetes which resulted in me suffering a stroke.
“This lead to a series of medical problems including nine bouts of pneumonia, my heart stopping three times, seven months spent in hospital – three in an induced coma – as well as an infection which lead to the partial loss of my left hand.”
Despite everything,Beverley went on to achieve nine GCSEs, a BTEC National Diploma in Caring Services and a degree in Psychology with Education.
Two years ago she took up her next challenge, a two year course in reflexology. Her tutors were concerned that her disability would stand in her way but she proved them wrong, and despite further illness she completed the course.
Beverley’s mum then told her about the Exploring Enterprise Programme.
Beverley said: “The programme gave me the insight into what is required to set up a business and really boosted my confidence. The Enterprise Agency team were really supportive and the aftercare service has been really helpful too.” I’ve never allowed my disability to get the better of me and am determined to make the best out of life. I’ve learnt so many new skills by embarking on the Exploring Enterprise Programme and want to use my newfound skills to really develop my business. I could never have set up my own business without the support of Leo and the team and I’m more determined than ever to make a success of my business.” Leo Mullan, CEA Business Advisor said: “We can help people take the next steps to help them fulfil their ambitions.”